Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

How to Rack Up $18 Trillion in Debt and How to Pay It Down


Friday March 27th, 2015   •   Posted by Craig Eyermann at 6:21am PDT   •   0 Comments

We’ve answered the following question that was recently asked at Quora: How did the USA end up with $18,000,000,000,000 of debt? More importantly, can the US government pay back the debt? The United States federal government has ended up with a total public debt outstanding of more than $18 trillion (at this writing) because...
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More Government IT Waste


Wednesday March 25th, 2015   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 5:36am PDT   •   0 Comments

As we recently noted, California’s Department of Consumer Affairs was implementing a computer system pegged at $27 million. Problems with the system boosted the cost to $77 million, but that still didn’t get it done. Consumer Affairs bosses want another $17.5 million, bring the cost to $96 million, more than three times the original...
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Who Owns the ‘Public’ Portion of the National Debt


Tuesday March 24th, 2015   •   Posted by Craig Eyermann at 6:15pm PDT   •   0 Comments

At the end of its 2014 fiscal year, the total public debt outstanding of the U.S. government stood at $17.860 trillion. That amount, however, consists of two parts: “Debt Held by the Public” and “Intragovernmental Holdings”. The Intragovernmental Holdings portion of the debt is really made up of a number of trust funds that...
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Government Greed Gone Wild


Monday March 23rd, 2015   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 5:42am PDT   •   0 Comments

California’s Franchise Tax Board (FTB) says inventor Gilbert Hyatt owes $55 million in taxes. Hyatt says he’s the target of a vendetta, and as Dale Kasler shows in the Sacramento Bee, Hyatt has a strong case. In 1990 Hyatt was awarded the patent for the first single-chip microprocessor and earned $350 million in royalties....
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Comparing the Budget Proposals


Friday March 20th, 2015   •   Posted by Craig Eyermann at 11:41am PDT   •   0 Comments

Earlier this week, both the U.S. House of Representatives’ and the U.S. Senate’s budget committees released their own respective budget proposals for the federal government’s 2016 fiscal year, which when combined with President Obama’s spending proposal from February, means that we now have three different proposals of what the future trajectory of the federal...
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Bay Bridge Crack-up Continues


Wednesday March 18th, 2015   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 5:19am PDT   •   0 Comments

As we have noted several times, the new eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge was $5 billion over budget and ten years late. Despite all that time and money, safety issues with the bridge seem to be getting worse, as Jaxon Van Derbeken of the San Francisco Chronicle explains. For example, the...
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Gold Sickness at the U.S. Treasury


Tuesday March 17th, 2015   •   Posted by Craig Eyermann at 7:22am PDT   •   0 Comments

Beginning yesterday, the U.S. Treasury Department began its now-routine use of “extraordinary” measures to slow down the rate at which it borrows money to keep the nation’s total public debt outstanding below the limit set by Congress. In announcing those measures, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew ruled out some common-sense suggestions that members of Congress...
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Consuming More Taxpayer Dollars


Monday March 16th, 2015   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 5:03am PDT   •   0 Comments

As consumers know, modern computers are incredibly reliable machines that work right out of the box, simplify many tasks, and save consumers money. In the hands of government employees, however, computers often fail to work, make life more complicated, and cost taxpayers much more money than advertised. As Jon Ortiz notes in the Sacramento...
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MyGovCost Updated!


Friday March 13th, 2015   •   Posted by Craig Eyermann at 8:06am PDT   •   0 Comments

We’ve been busy behind the scenes here at the MyGovCost project at the Independent Institute, as we’ve just completed our major annual update to the MyGovCost Government Cost Calculator! The MyGovCost Government Cost Calculator is the only tool available for you, the ordinary taxpayer, to get a sense of what the U.S. government’s expected...
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Trends for Federal Taxes and Spending


Tuesday March 10th, 2015   •   Posted by Craig Eyermann at 6:44am PDT   •   0 Comments

We’re going to summarize the biggest takeaway from the CBO’s latest update to its budget projections with a single chart: Note that the trend for revenues flattens out after 2016, when most of the tax hikes that are mandated as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. “Obamacare”) are fully implemented....
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